London's FTSE 100 falls 28 points to 6,751.3 on Wednesday, running into some profit taking after a recent rally and seemingly rattled by news that earlier this month, two Bank of England policymakers unexpectedly voted to start raising interest rates.
Balfour Beatty (BBY) takes another pounding after the construction group rejects a third offer from rival Carillion (CLLN) just a day before the Takeover Panel's 'put up or shut up' ultimatum expires on 21 August. The heavy construction specialist tumbles 6.8% to 235.5p on the news, while Carillion slips 3% to 326.5p.
Among the risers is international food and drink concessions operator SSP (SSPG), which skips 3p higher to 245p on a bullish note from Shore Capital, co-lead manager on its recent IPO. The broker argues the Kate Swann-led Upper Crust-to-Caffe Ritazza brand-owner is 'a multi-decade growth story' and 'appears attractively valued against other global growth players'. Shares examined SSP' growth prospects in a news analysis in June.
Unloved department store Debenhams (DEB) adds 0.55p at 65.05p as Cantor Fitzgerald upgrades its rating from 'sell' to 'hold', though the broker still has 'major concerns with the balance sheet and the need for substantial investment in upgrading the store portfolio'. We looked at the challenges facing the High Street retailer here in April.
Speciality pharmaceutical and services concern Clinigen (CLIN:AIM) gains 5.4% to 423p on news of the acquisition of oncology therapy Ethyol from AstraZeneca (AZN). The treatment reduces the side effects of cancer treatment and brings Clinigen's specialty phramaceuticals portfolio to five products in total.
Life sciences services provider Source BioScience (SBS) improves 3.3% to 11.6p after reporting a 49% surge in pre-tax profits to £900,000 for the opening six months of the year.
Jordanian drug company Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) falls 2% to £17.68 as it flags a weak first half performance in its branded and generic businesses. However, a strong turn from the injectables division helped the company to double pre-tax profits to $219 million. Hikman also pleases with news of a 4 cents a share special dividend following a strong half for its US businesses.
Oil explorer Chariot Oil & Gas (CHAR:AIM) falls 1.4% to 16p on confirmation it has secured a farm-out deal for its Brazilian assets - the fall perhaps reflecting the need to attract an additional partner to fund drilling. AziLat, a subsidiary of Singapore private oil firm Azimuth, will buy an interest in its BAR-M-292, BAR-M-293, BAR-M-313 and BAR-M-314 blocks, in exchange for paying 50% of the 3D seismic acquisition and processing costs across the blocks. Chariot will remain the operator of the blocks with a 75% interest.